Ajax manager Erik ten Hag says the club is not looking to sign Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld this January. The 31-year-old signed a new contract with Spurs in December 2019, but hints of a move away have yet to subside.
Alderweireld has already been linked with a return to the Eredivisie, with PSV Eindhoven also reportedly showing interest in the Belgian.
Erik ten Hag Plays Down Ajax Interest in Toby Alderweireld
Return to Amsterdam in January Unlikely
Alderweireld started his football career with Ajax, making 128 league appearances between 2008 and 2013. The stint was successful for the defender, winning three consecutive titles with De Godenzonen in the process.
The Belgian has established himself as one of Europe’s best defenders and has been an ever-present fixture for Spurs. Although Alderweireld’s contract isn’t set to expire until 2023, rumours of a return to his former club continue to surface.
But following Ajax’s 3-1 win over FC Twente, ten Hag was quick to dismiss rumours of a move for Alderweireld. The Ajax manager also reiterated the club’s director of football, Marc Overmars, maintains close communication with former players, hinting a future move could be made.
He said: “We have good contact with Alderweireld, but we have no concrete interest. We are in constant contact.
“Marc [Overmars] maintains close contacts with all players who have left Ajax, just look at [Davy] Klaassen. At the moment that is not the case.”
Spurs Looking to Build Defensive Core
In what is Jose Mourinho’s first full season as Spurs boss, the Portuguese has seemingly found his preferred defensive pairing in Alderweireld and Eric Dier. Former club-record signing Davinson Sanchez has endured an inconsistent campaign, with the Colombian limited to just six league appearances.
Despite a recent blip in what has been a positive first half of the season, Spurs’ defensive improvement has been noticeable. Mourinho’s side have the joint-second best defence in the Premier League, conceding 16 goals in 17 games, trailing only Manchester City.
But Spurs remain in the transfer market for an additional centre-back to continue tightening up the backline. According to Mundo Deportivo, Mourinho could be exploring the possibility of acquiring out-of-favour Real Madrid defender Eder Militao.
The 22-year-old moved to the Bernabeu from Porto in 2019 but has struggled to nail down a starting spot. The Brazilian has featured in just three games in all competitions for Los Blancos this season, with Zinedine Zidane showing more faith to Nacho Fernandez.